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The two cultures

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This from the Chicago Sun-Times' review of the JBC's opening performance of Romeo and Juliet:

The Auditorium Theatre was impressively full Wednesday, but announcements about the unfolding score at Wrigley Field were made at both intermissions, proving you can have your ballet and your baseball, too.

Ya gotta love it. Even the balletomanes take notice when the (formerly) hapless Cubs make the playoffs!


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In an attempt to bridge the gap some years back, Elizabeth Streb's company performed at a ballpark after batting practice for half an hour. Granted, her work is as in-your-face physical as it can get, involving equipment to bounce off, but they reported a huge rise in the ticket sales for the 'real' show they were having that following week.

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It just keeps getting better and better here in Chicago! Check this link to find out about dancers from the Joffrey dancing at halftime of a Bull's game.

Joffrey markets itself with sample at Bulls game

With the arrival of new marketing honcho Hope Wolman, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago is trying some decidedly different marketing tactics, one of which must have startled a few Chicago Bulls fans Monday night.

Joffrey company members showed up at the United Center to perform an excerpt from the troupe's annual holiday production of "The Nutcracker" during halftime at the basketball game. "The Nutcracker" opens Friday night at the Auditorium Theatre and runs through Dec. 28.

Wolman said she wanted to expose Bulls audiences to ballet to make them aware dance is every bit as much of an athletic endeavor as playing basketball. "A lot of people just don't understand what ballet involves until they have a chance to see it," Wolman said.

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It seems that Nutcracker is one of those ballets that uses whatever marketing strategies it can to reach a much wider audience than the usual (like the bobbleheads that Pacific Northwest Ballet has in conjunction with its production). Think of the myriad shopping mall and tearoom appearances made in December. I admit that a basketball halftime is a bigger step in that direction, but it isn't a new course altogether.

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I think y'all got something going in Chicago...

and I don't THINK a champion basketball team is going to play on parquet over concrete; those guys know from jumping....

By the way, in Oakland there's a lot of interplay between the ballet and the Athletics -- La Russa's girls went to the the ballet school indeed one of them is now in the company -- and for at least a decade thereves been Oakland A's players performing on scheduled nights in hte fight scene in hte ballet -- they're playing on Clara's team, and they are really a lot of fun. Foir one thing htey have TONS of stage presence - and for another, they're willing to do echappes, with half-turns....

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